Tuesday, 20 March 2012

John Carter's Financial Disaster

If you are reasonably up-to-date with the movie world, you'll know that Disney's John Carter, directed by the wonderful Andrew Stanton has been a bit of a dud, and rightly so. It's baggy, over-long, poorly acted and scripted and is a fairly boring watch considering giant Mars space bastards are running about all over the place, but it seems as though Disney were not completely prepared for just how bad it's box office run has been.

 According to reports, John Carter has only taken $184 million WORLDWIDE even though it's budget was a staggering $250 million with a further $100 million blown on marketing. In order for a film to be a financial success in the modern cinematic climate, it must make at least double it's budget in ticket sales and seeing as the film has been at every major cinema chain now for the past fortnight, it seems highly unlikely it will meet those demands.

"Yes I know, I screwed up LIKE A BOSS."
 Disney changed the film's name in post-production from John Carter of Mars as they thought it would alienate viewers and completely generalise the film as Science Fiction but even dropping the 'of Mars' has made no significant difference. But the most alarming thing about this story is how much the budget fairs compared to other blockbusters this year. Here are some recent budgets from Hollywood:

The Hunger Games - $78-100 million
The Avengers - $200 million
The Dark Knight Rises - $250 million
Snow White and the Huntsman - $78 million

Disney's Carter cost the same as The Dark Knight Rises; a sequel that's part of one of recent cinema's highest-grossing and critically acclaimed franchises. Nolan's Batman movies are tried-and-tested - even if it cost $600 million, chances are it would double that figure at the multiplexes because audience know what they are in for. It's the same story with Joss Weadon's The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble as it's been stupidly renamed for the UK); audiences have embraced each of the hero's separate pictures and have been waiting for the grouped film.

 The fact that John Carter cost $50 million more than The Avengers is simply baffling. Maybe Disney just need to accept that they made a poor investment, a rubbish movie and put a little too much faith in Stanton. He is a sublime animated filmmaker with the credentials, awards and box-office figures to prove it, but I'm not sure live-action is his comfort zone and after this, one highly doubts Disney will ever give him the opportunity to try again.

Maybe Disney should have made this instead...


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